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Next level Transport Planning

23rd May 2018

Ed Tallents, Client Development Manager, discusses the rise of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

For those involved in transport and infrastructure planning, the rise of EVs might seem like old news, in fact, your neighbours might already have one.

These domestic chargers need only a trickle of energy, however the fuel forecourt equivalent requires a sustained torrent of power, so the hot topic - vital to making EVs practical and therefore driving demand - is the rollout of vehicle charging stations.

Unlike tanker-fed fuel forecourts, today’s rapid chargers draw power from the grid. Not only are these chargers thirsty, they have complete reliance on localised availability of power. The larger rapid chargers, now available on the market, can draw as much as 174 kVA; up to 460kw (that’s two hundred and fifty-five kettles boiled at once), which explains why some of the plug-in cables must be liquid-cooled.

Having dealt with the physics of charging locations, the geographic requirements are also different, not least because a fast charge currently takes at least 20 minutes and power isn’t readily available in every location. Even where there is a physical cable, it may not be able to provide the required capacity, due to existing local competition for power. So there’s a new dimension to tomorrow’s prime refuelling locations, and how this affects both private and public transport infrastructure.

Unlike traditional vehicles, consumers can charge EVs at home, however when charge is needed away from home, the time taken to ‘fill the tank’ is around 100 times longer for an EV, and this has implications for the surrounding amenities. What’s more, as EV’s commence their climb in demand, so will power demand, and sites for charging will gain premium with exponential effect.

Business, Government, Retail, and Highways sectors are being encouraged to consider this right now. With localised power availability on a on a first-come, first-served basis, today’s early adopters are going to benefit by viably securing prime charging locations on their real estate, and with it, the requisite power bandwidth for tomorrow’s consumer.

Through our place on the EEM Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure framework, we are helping public sector landowners deliver effective charge point schemes, tailored to their commercial circumstances, while providing drivers with a growing network of readily available charging locations.

And, of course, everyone benefits from cleaner air.

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